Sujiko vs Ikura: Salmon Roe in Japanese Cuisine

In Japanese cuisine, Ikura is made out of manure salmon roe or trout roe that has been pickled typically in soy sauce and well-known as a Sushi or Onigiri ingredient, and the orange caviar comes in individual shaped spherical balls.

In addition to Ikura, actually, there is one more Japanese food delicacy made of salmon roe or trout roe, which is similar to Ikura and called “Sujiko (筋子)”.

The Difference: Sujiko vs Ikura

SujikoSujiko Roe

As you can see in the photo above, with a dark reddish color compared to Ikura, Sujiko is made of a skein of immature salmon roe or trout roe surrounded by the ovarian membrane, so each egg is a bit smaller than Ikura.

While Ikura is usually pickled in soy sauce, Sujiko is often brined, which prevents its shape from easily collapsing, though if the small, immature egg isn’t salted, it is fragile compared to Ikura.

As for how to use the Sujiko roe, unlike Ikura, it is rarely used as a Sushi topping mainly because it is within the egg sac, but as with Ikura, the roe is often used in Onigiri rice balls.

Ikura Ikura Roe

Ikura (いくら) Sujiko (筋子)
Material Salmon roe or Trout roe Salmon roe or Trout roe
Maturity Mature Immature
Egg Sac None Within the egg sac
Shape Individual shaped spherical balls A skein of roe
Cure Typically pickled in soy sauce Often brined

(Reference Pages: マカロニ, 違いはねっと)


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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